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"After watching this documentary on cable TV, I was so impressed I had the DVD ordered to show to the university communications class I teach, as part of our unit on radio.
What a disappointment! All of the interviews with experts and witnesses which made the TV version so informative about radio and its place as a medium in 1930s American society are gone. I assume they must not have been able to secure the rights from the participants. Even the narrator is different. It's not Nimoy.
To make up for the time lost from the deletion of the interviews, they've padded it with useless digressions into things like the history of Flash Gordon, yet another rehash of the supposed UFO crash in Roswell, N.M., and other elements which bear little or no relevance to the "War of the Worlds" broadcast.
Worse, the box description reflects the better TV version, not what is actually on the disc.
It comes with a second CD of the actual broadcast. So what? You can hear that for free online.
My suggestion is, avoid this purchase and tape it when it comes on TV again."
?An essential DVD/CD set for the Orson Welles aficionado
Rudolf Schmid | Kensington, CA | 08/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"?This is a very good and inexpensive DVD/CD combination, one essential for the Orson Welles (1915-1985) fan. The DVD rogram is very well done and is essentially a minibiography of Welles, with emphasis, of course, on the circumstances surrounding the 30 October 1938 Halloween radio broadcast of Welles's adaptation of H.G. Wells's (1866-1946) novelette, The War of the Worlds (1897). The DVD is copyright 2005 and was newly written, directed, and narrated by John Ross, who also did the music--facts not noted on the packaging (this information is from the credits).
The DVD runs for 75 minutes, not the claimed 70 and is a mix of B&W and color; format is 4:3, and sound is in Dolby digital stereo. There are 8 scenes: 1) Sign of the times [5:13] 2) Orson Welles [6:08] 3) The Mercury Theater [10:58] 4) Grover's Mill, New Jersey [6:37] 5) 1930's sci-fi [7:31] 6) Are we alone? [13:27] 7) Panic on the streets [6:53] 8) The aftermath [18:24] The actual program has lots of biographical and historical ackground, including extensive clips from Welles's two early films, Hearts of Age (1934) done when he was only 19, and We Work Again (1937), done for the WPA (Works Projects Administration). Scene 5 on "1930's sci-fi" is interesting,but the overlong scene 6, "Are we alone?," on alien phenomena, including the 1947 Roswell affair, is rather tedious. Scene 8 includes clips from Welles's The Trial (1963) as well as his interview remarks on War of the world.
The CD is of the complete 30 October 1938 radio broadcast of the hour-long Mercury Theater show (the CD runs 58 minutes, 7 seconds). The quality is very good. The scratchiness in the beginning part adds to the atmosphere. The CD is not subdivided. Thus don't lose your place or you will have to fast forward from the beginning to resume listening.
What's missing? There is no inner paper insert. It would have been classy to list the characters and actors of the radio broadcast and perhaps reproduce the 31 October 1938 article in The New York Times about the controversy. However, this information is readily available from the Internet. I printed it out to insert into the DVD case."
The compete history of a broadcast
J. A. Dolan | The holy city of Brooklyn | 07/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It says the narration is by Leonard Nimoy but it doesn't sound like him. Still, this Ventura Distribution is the Who, what, when, where, how and why of the most famous broadcast in American history. It's the best I have ever read or heard. The first disk is a detailed, well research and entertaining history of that program. The second is the Sunday, October 30, broadcast itself. The audio quality of the second disk is very, very good. This is a most for any fan of War of the Worlds or of the broadcast history. The compete history of a broadcast"
Waiting for the made for TV film.
Private Dick | midwest, U.S. | 04/30/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Just to let people know, the title of the made for TV film is, "THE NIGHT THAT PANICKED AMERICA"(1975) not the DAY. I too have been waiting for this to be released, which it will probably never will be. BOOHOO!"
The day that panicked America
Janene Hansel | Wilmington | 02/10/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I to was disappointed, I was also looking for and thinking this was the made for T.V. movie about the halloween broadcast and the events that happened during the braodcast. If anyone knows where this movie can be found, I'd like to know!!!!!"